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Master Austin, of were returning from church; when two little boys walking
a ne of the young gentlemen, as they together in regular procession, were pointed out to him. Having desired the boy not to say which was young Austin, the writer instantly discovered this lad by the strong likeness which be bore to the mother:-the sia milarity of countenance is, indeed, strikingly marked. He spoke to the boy, and asked, if his name was AusTIN; to which he answered, “ Yes." From this moment, the writer's doubts completely vanished, and he was fully and satisfactorily couvinced that this Child is no other than the child of Sophia Austin.
On a subsequent occasion, when he saw Mrs. Austin, the writer expressed his entire satisfaction in having beheld and conversed with her son at Greenwich ;-he also added, that he was perfectly convinced she was the moiher of the child then, and now, under the protection of her Royal Highness. Any person, indeed, endowed with the blessing of sight, must, on seeing the mother and the child, be instantly struck with the marked resemblance between them, and feel, forcibly, the conviction of the writer on this subject. Mrs. Austin apo peared quite elated with his expressions of satisfaction on this point; and said, if he would be at the trouble of committing them to paper, she would detail the whole particulars of her Royal Highness's taking the child; and added “ that she thought it doe to her Royal Highness, that the public mind should be satisfied as to this point.” He, accordingly, wrote down from her own mouth, the following interesting facts, relative both to the child, and to Mrs. Austin and her husband.
SAMUEL Austin, the father of WILLIAM (the child now under the protection of her Royal Highnes,
and the subject of this narrative,) was born at Welling. ton in the county of Somerset ; and is the son of Peter and Lydiu Austin, poor, but industrious people of that town.
When very young, he was initiated into his father's business, which was that of a Woolcomber; but he left Wellington at an early age, and went to reside at Wilton, in the county of Wilts. Here, after living some years, and working at his trade, he married, at the age of twenty-one, Sophia, the daughter of Daniel and Ara. bella Whitmarsh, also poor, industrious people of the same town. This evenų took place on the 1st of April, 1796, Sophia being then in her twenty-first year.
SAMUEL and SOPHIA AUSTin continued at Wil. ton until they had two children, Daniel and William, which latter died at the age of nine months.
Soon after the breaking out of the war on the Continent, the clothing business became very slack, and Austin determined to remove to London, at which place he arrived in the month of February, 1798; leaving his wife and two children with her friends in the country. Here, he engaged himself as a porter, with a Mr. Young, a broker, in Lombard-court, Seven Dials. Shortly afterwards, his wife followed him, leaving the youngest child with her friends at Wilton. Upon her arrival in town, finding that her husband could scarcely earn a sufficiency to maintain himself, she resolved go into service; and, accordingly, engaged herself with a Mr. Cooper, a coal merabant, of Villiers-street, in the Strand ; leaving the child she brought with her to the care of a relation. Sophia reinained in this place about twelve months.
AUSTIN being much afflicted with the rheumatism, was incapable of continuing long in Mr. Young's em
ploy. He was, afterwards, with a Cheesemonger in Chandos-street, but was soon obliged to leave this situátion also, on the same account: He next entered into the service of Mr. Cunningham, a hatter, in Piccadilly; but having, soon after he had taken this engagement, a severe attack of his old complaint, he was obliged to leave Mr. Canningham. Austin' then lived as footman with the Duchess of CUMBERLAND, where he stayed but for a short period, owing to a return of his rheumatic affection.
Mrs. Austin, after quitting Mr. Cooper's service, filled the office of nurse in several families. During the greater part of this time, she and her husband lived separately froni each' other. : On the 12th of March, 1800, Mrs. Austin had another son, who was named Samuel. Of this child she lay in at the Brownlow-street Hospital; having been recommended thither by a Mr. Ashlin, of Belton-street.
In the ensuing August, Mrs. Austin' was employed to take care of a house for Mr. Woodford, her husband's uncle, at Deptford; with whom she remained about twelvemonths. During some part of this time, her husband lived chiefly in London, in various places of service; soon after his wife's removal to Deptford, Austin went to live with her at that place, and at a subsequent period, obtained employment in H18 MAJESTY's DOCK YARD, as a labourer at 12s. per week, and an allowance of 1s. 6d. for chip money. Having continued in this situation about fifteen months, he was discharged with many others, at the time of the general peace in 1802.
Being now out of employ, Austin and his wife were in much distress; and on one occasion, some little difference arising between them, he proposed that she and her children should become chargeable to the parish. This she refused, as long as she was able to work, and could get her bread; but proposed to take one of the children, and to leave the other to the care of her husband. To this, however, Austin objected, and left her; first dividing the ONLY QUARTERN LOAF they had left, between them, Nearly a fortnight had elapsed, before Mrs. Austin received any tidings of her husband; when he sent a person for bis clothes, but these she refused to deliver, Austin now returned, and again urged her to seek parochial relief for herself and her two children ; but this, however, she again positively refused to do, on the grounds before stated.
Mrs. Austin having again become pregnant, and being within two months of her delivery, she was desirous of obtaining a letter of recommendation to be again admitted into the Brownlow-street Hospital. Being acquainted with a poor woman of the name of Lasley, who used to obtain the broken meat, &c. from MonTAGUE HOUSE, the residence of Her Royal HighNESS THE PRINCESS OF WALES, Mrs. Austin
requested Mrs. Lusley to endeavour to procure a letter of recommendation from some of the ladies in attendance, for admittance into the Hospital. She made application, but was not successful. Fearing, however, that Mrs. Austin would suspect that she had not applied for her, she proposed that Mrs. Austin should accompany her to Montague House. To this Mrs. Austin agreed, and on the Monday following they kept the appointment; Mrs. Austin remaining on the Heath, while her companion went into the house.
Mrs. Lasley inquired for Mr. STIKEMAN, the page, thinking him the most likely person to succeed with the ladies; but he not being in the house at the time, they returned. - Meeting Mr. STIKEMAN, however, as they were crossing the Heath, Mrs. Lasley spoke to him, and said, “This is the poor woman for whom I solicited a
letter of recommendation into the hospital.” Mr. SrikeMAN observed, he was very sorry he could not obtain one for her; but said the ladies would give her a letter to be attended at home. Mrs. Austin told him she had, once before, lain in at Brownlow Street Hospital, and would like to go there if she could, it not being so convenient for her to lay in at home. He said he should be happy to serve her if he could, but in this case he could not, as he had already asked the ladies the question.
Being unsuccessful in procuring a letter from Montague House, she applied to a friend in town of the naine of Wilson who obtained one for her, from Mr. Hoare, the banker, in Fleet Street; and was admitted into the hospital, on Sunday the 11th of July, 1802. On this day, Mrs. AUSTIN was delivered of a son, who was baptized at the house of the Institution, on the 15th of the same month, and named WILLIAM.
A few days after its birth, the child was observed to have a mark of red wine on its right hand, completely encircling the thumb; but this mark has since gradually disappeared, and is not at present discernible.
Mrs. Austin continued in the hospital until the 29th of July, at which time she left it and returned with her. son to Deptford ; calling in her way at Mr. Hoare's, to leave a letter of thanks, as is usual in these cases.
Austin being still out of employ, and his wife bearing that several persons had made successful application, to Her Royal HighnESS The Princess of WALES to procure a reinstatement in his Majesty's Dock Yard, she was advised to try this expedient on behalf of her husband. Mrs. Austin proposed to him to write a petition, and she would take it to HER ROYAL HIGHNESS, and endeavour to get him replaced in his former situation. Austin, however hesitated, for some time, to embrace his wife's offer, conceiving that tše